WATCH: Stolen AR-15 Leads to Sting That Landed Tennessee Officer Behind Bars

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – An investigation into a stolen AR-15 from a locker room at the MTSU Police Department lead to an undercover sting.

Officer Marco Burke, who has only been with the department for a year, is now accused of felony theft of cash.

It was Officer Burke’s own body camera that could help prove he was the one who took $1,100 and two bottles of pills from a bait car.

Burke responded to what he thought was a reckless driver who had crashed at the AG building on the MTSU campus.

Once he enters the vehicle he’s seen rummaging around, even picking up a pill bottle containing 100 OxyContin pills from the floorboard of the car.

As he searched a back pack his camera goes black for a moment.

“Next he took the currency then he went through the backpack and took the second bottle of OxyContin,” Murfreesboro Police Detective David Harrison testified in court.

It was all a set-up, after an AR 15 went missing from the MTSU Police locker room.

The night the gun was stolen Burke entered eight times, which police said was unusual.

When detectives started looking into his background they discovered he had a bankruptcy and had just filed a second.

That’s when Detective Harrison decided to conduct the undercover sting.

“We were watching it from a live feed video we had,” Harrison said.

At first Burke denied any money or pills were in the vehicle.

He never wrote it in his incident report nor in a statement to Murfreesboro police.

“Do you see anywhere on there that Ofc. Burke says he took two bottles of OxyCotin. You see anywhere on that report that he took $1,100. ” Rutherford County Assistant DA Eric Farmer asked Det. David Harrison at the preliminary hearing. “No sir,” Harrison replied.

The next day officers found a lunch box containing the money and pills near a bush next to Burke’s personal vehicle in MTSU Police parking lot.

In a jailhouse telephone call to his wife he said he got caught and he was embarrassed.

“I got in trouble. (inaudible) I wasn’t even sorry even though I was mad as (expletive) at myself for what I did,” an emotional Burke said.

To be clear, Burke has not been charged with stealing the AR 15 nor does he face any drug charges at this time.

His attorney did however raised concern in court that the detective intentionally placed the bait car at the MTSU AG building, which is within 1000 feet of school and if he’s charged with drugs that the penalty if convicted could be enhanced.

The defense attorney also raised concern that the detective planted a felony amount of money in the car.

When it was all said and done, Judge Ben McFarlin found enough probable cause to send this case to a Grand Jury.

Burke remains free on bond.

The case will be heard by the August Rutherford County Grand Jury which could indict him on the theft charge for allegedly stealing the money.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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